Manaslu Trekking region is geographically and culturally charming place in Nepal and is considered one of the excellent trekking destinations in Nepal Himalayas. Manaslu offers you the huge mountain scenery, wonderful Tibetan culture, ancient monasteries, typical Nepalese lifestyle, lovely forests with rich flora and fauna and leading ethnic society in Nepal. This trekking is one of the well-known trails in Nepal. This trek was officially open for tourists in 1991, but mountaineering expeditions have long had access to the area. Mount Manaslu (8163m) is situated near to the border of Nepal. This is eight highest mountain of the world. The name Manaslu means “The Spirit Mountain” in local language.
You can direct drive to Arughat Bazar or Soti Khola. The trail goes through the Budhi Gandaki River passing different ethnic groups village, this is cultural trek rather than mountain scenery at the low elevation. The trail leads us continue to Budhi Gandaki valley through the Tibetan villages with beautiful mountain sceneries and old Monasteries and cross the Larkya La pass then join with Annapurna Circuit route. Manaslu Circuit Trek can make shorter or longer. You can come back towards Besishahar or continue towards Manang, cross Thorang La pass and fly to Pokhara from Jomsom.
Duration: 17 days
Type of the Trek: Tea House, Home Stay, Camping
Activities: Trekking, Culture Tours
Best Months: September to November and March to May
Maximum Altitude: 5180m (Larkya La Pass)
*Walk along the rough Budhi Gandaki Valley, a valley of Tibetan people behind Manaslu.
*Great Mountain Scenery, old Buddhist Monasteries, Tibetan Culture and high pass crossing.
Day 1: Arrive in Kathmandu (1350m)
Our representative will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. He or She will brief you on the immediate arrangements and escort you to your hotel. The trip leader will hold a short briefing in the hotel regarding trek arrangements and general orientation to Kathmandu.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
Today, we visit the most historical and Spiritual attractions in Kathmandu which are also listed in world heritage sites. We visit Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (Monkey temple), Bouddhanath, which is one of the largest Stupa in the world and the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath.
Day 3: Drive to Arughat (600m) and then Soti Khola (720m / 8-9 hrs)
After early breakfast, we drive from Kathmandu to Arughat following the Kathmandu Pokhara highway. While passing the ridge of Kathmandu valley, we have glimpse of Annapurna, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal and Langtang Himal, nice terraces and green hills. We cross the Trishuli Khola on a bridge and drive through Dhading besi, passing Murali Bhanjyang, Nigalpani, Gola Bhanjyang and arrive in Arughat. The village of Arughat is in two parts, on opposite sides of the Budhi Gandaki. Arughat Bazaar is large, clean and prosperous with hotels and shops. From here we drive further to Soti Khola by local Jeep. Here are some hotels, shops and camping ground.
Day 4: Trek to Machha Khola (925m / 6-7 hrs)
We cross the bridge and climb up onto a ridge above huge rapids on the Budhi Gandaki before continuing up to Khursane. We then walk through the rocky trail, waves its way up and down, past two tropical waterfalls and back down to the banks of the Budhi Gandaki, there are few rive terraces. Trek up again on a steep rocky trail clinging to the side of a cliff, down and past a few more rice terraces, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labubesi. We climb behind a rocky outcrop and drop to a high cascading waterfall and wooden bridge then climb over another ridge before dropping to sandy riverbed. From here, it is easy walk to Machha Khola. Machha Khola is a village which is situated above a stream with the same name. There are some hotels and camping grounds.
Day 5: Trek to Thulo Dhunga (1250m / 6-7 hrs)
We make some minor ups and downs and cross the Thadok Khola, following in a rocky ravine, arrive in Khorlabesi. There are some local hotels and shops. Climb over a small ridge, then make a very steep climb and descend downs to Tatopani, hot spring. From here we climb over another ridge, then cross the Budhi Gandaki on a suspension bridge. We ascend a well crafted staircase over a ridge to Doban, there are some hotels and shops. Doban means confluence of 2 rivers, where Shiar Khola comes from the east and the Sarpu Khola meet from the west. We make camp for the night at wide campsite or stay in hotel.
Day 6: Trek to Philim (1590m / 5-6 hrs)
The route climbs on a rugged, rocky trail and cross big landslide area than arrive atop a ridge. The river valley widens and the trail descends to the Budhi Gandaki River. We cross a long suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola and ascend a wide set of stone stairs, drop to the river and then climb more big stone stairs to Thado Bharyang. We cross the Budhi Gandaki River, climb over a ridge and walk along the river for a while and climb up to the Jagat (1410m). Jagat is very nice village, here are shops, hotels, police check post and a customs office that assesses duty on goods brought from Tibet. Climb over a rocky ridge to Salleri, there are good views of Sringi Himal as you continue up along the side of a cliff. Descend down to Sirdibas, where a stone Kani and several Mani walls. The valley widens, we walk through Ghatta Khola, cross the small stream and continue upstream to a long suspension bridge. We cross the bridge and climb up to Philim. This is a large Gurung village with fields of corn and millet. There are several good camping grounds and hotels.
Day 7: Trek to Deng (1860m / 5-6 hrs)
The trail turns north in the village and stays fairly level as it traverses millet field to Serson. Beyond Serson we enter a narrow dramatic gorge section with towering walls, past a thundering waterfall just above and cross the suspension bridge, ascend gradually along a wide hillside. After pleasant walk through dense forests we arrive in tiny village of Deng. This is lower part of Nubri region called Kutang and is inhabited primarily by Gurung who practice Buddhism. We have views of Lumbo, Lapuchen and Dwijen Himals. We camp nearby by the village or stay in normal lodge.
Day 8: Trek to Ghap (2160m / 5 hrs)
Little beyond Deng we cross the Budhi Gandaki River and climb up to Rana Gaon, there are some shops in Rana. From the bridge the trail climbs a bit to join a trail from Bhi then heads west up the Budhi Gandaki valley. It is level for a bit then climb up steps past a waterfall. We cross the stream then drop to another stream that flows in a steep, narrow gorge. We climb high above the river then drop down into the Sringi Valley. We walk ups and downs through the forests, passing Mani wall, then turn a corner and contours to Ghap where we stay overningt.
Day 9: Trek to Lho (3180m / 7 hrs)
The trail from Ghap crosses the Budhi Gandaki River, there are camp site near the bridge. Pass more Mani stones on the south side of the river, cut across fields and head into the woods. Pass a few houses and three streams in a forest of big fir. The trail climbs alongside the river past long Mani walls to a waterfall. We continue through beautiful forest of fir and rhododendron. In the middle of the forest we cross Budhi Gandaki by wooden bridge, climb on the northern side to a big rock cave then cross the river again. Back on the south bank, we climb through bamboo and rhododendron forests and arrive in Namrung (2660m), views of the mountains. Climb past a Mani wall and the many fields and houses of Barchan then through a forest of firs, rhododendron and oak and wheat fields to the ancient Lihi village (2910m). There is a Gompa on the side of the trail and another above the village. Leaving the village we walk through a Kani then makes a long sweet into a wooden canyon. Cross the Hinang Khola and ascend to another Kani to Sho village. The views now start to get spectacular. Manaslu (8163m), Manaslu North (7157m) and Naike peak (6211m) appear at the head of the valley. We climb through more fields to the small village of Shrip then climb past a stream to Lho, big village. There is a stone archway at the entrance, Monastery, Tibetan style Chhorten and huge Mani wall at the western end.
Day 10: Trek to Sama Gaon (3530m / 3-4 hrs)
We drop down, cross Damonan Khola and follow the north fork of the stream up for long distance through forest (right hand trail) and arrive onto a plateau of Syala (3520m). From here we get wonderful views of Himalchuli, Ngadi Chuli (Peak 29) and Manaslu. Cross the ridge out of the stream valley to the Budhi Gandaki side, trek in and out of the Thosang Khola then descend onto a rock moraine. Climb across the boulders and emerge onto a ridge overlooking the pastures and fields of Sama Gaon. Karghi Chhuling Gompa is visible in the distance. Walk across fields of wheat and buckwheat, past Chhorten and large Kani. Beyond the Kani descend to a large collection of Mani stones, arrive in the main village. In the afternoon, we hike up to the old Gompa above the village and wander around the village.
Day 11: Explore around Sama Gaon.
Today, we visit Pung gyen Gompa (3870m). Climb the ridge to the south of Sama Gaon to the Pung gyen Gompa which is hidden behind the ridge in front of Manaslu. We can also make a day hike to Birendra Taal, the glacial lake at 3450m.
Day 12: Trek to Samdo (3690m / 3-4 hrs)
Today is also another day of incredible mountain views, we descend to the Budhi Gandaki, which has now turned north again, follow it to a bridge over a side stream. We passes several Mani walls as the valley begin to widen. It is an easy trail above the river past Juniper and Birch forests and the stone huts of Kermo Kharka then get rougher as it reaches a ridge. Descend and cross the river and climb steeply onto a promontory between two forks of the river. From stone arch we can see a large Kani. Finally we pass through the Kani to find old herding settlement of Samdo nestled behind a ridge. The people of Samdo are Tibetan and were ceded the land by the king of Jumla over 500 years ago. It was major trading point of Tibet and India long time ago. In the afternoon we walk around the village, where the people live an essential Tibetan lifestyle, herding their Yaks, Sheep and Goats.
Day 13: Trek to Dharmashala, High Camp / Larkya Phedi (4470m / 3-4 hrs)
From Samdo, we descend on a wide, past many fields, old Mani wall and stone archway. Drop to the river which is very small and narrow, cross it by wooden bridge (The survey of India map shows the village of Larkya Bazar located here, but only seasonal tent camp). From old Mani wall it start climb to Larkya La. We climb gently through Juniper opposite the huge Larkya glacier. We stay high on the ridge to the right and cross the top of two large ravines. The trail gets steeper and climbs the side of a ridge where there is a viewpoint at the edge of a huge gorge. We can see a single house in the distance and a row of abandoned houses. Climb in and out of the gorge and arrive in campsite of Dharmashala, the high camp for the Larkya La pass. We have breathtaking Mountains view and possible to see many blue sheep around here.
Day 14: Cross Larkya La (5120m / 4 hrs), camp at Bimthang (3720m / 4-5 hrs)
Today, we start walk early in the morning. We climb up the ridge in front of the rest house, eventually becoming a long, gentle climb beside a moraine. Cross a small ridge, descend a bit to a lake and keep climbing the ridge to the top of the moraine. We cross the moraine to the south of steep, grassy slopes, few cairns mark the route. Stay on the moraine to a ridge, descend and then steep climb up the pass. We have wonderful panoramic views of Himlung Himal (7126m), Cheo Himal (6820m), Gyaji Kung, Kang Guru (6981m) and Annapurna II (7937m). From the pass, we descend along the top of a moraine to the west, then steeply and traverses scree slopes. It makes a long set of steep, rough switchbacks, crosses the moraine and then descend more gently. We make final long, steep, slippery descend on loose gravel to another grassy moraine (Dangmoche / 4450m). The trail becomes better and easier, we descend along the grassy moraine to a small meadow and a spring. The trail turns a corner, the valley becomes larger and the trail heads down to a large meadow, Bimthang. In Tibetan language, Bimthang means “plain of sand”. In the ancient time it was major trading point. Bimthang was also a Khampa guerrilla staging area during the 1970s. This is huge valley surrounded by high peaks.
Day 15: Trek to Tilje (2300m / 6-7 hrs)
We drop from the Bimthang meadow and cross a glacial stream by bridge. Climb over the side of the moraine and descend into a pine and rhododendron forest to Hompuk. The trail descends, switch backing down to a fork of the Dudh Khola then follow the river through forests to Karache. The trail crosses a landslide, goes across fields then steep climb over a ridge. The trail comes off the ridge in a big, sweeping arc down to the river bank near few houses and fields on the opposite side. It is very easy short walk to Gho village. At the foot of the valley we can see part of the Lamjung Himal above the Marshyangdi valley. We continue through the fields, over a clear stream, past houses and more fields, rhododendron and oak forests, we reach the large village of Tilche, inhabitants mix of Manangis (Tibetan descent) and Chhettris.
Day 16: Trek to Chyamche (1430m / 6 hrs)
We descend through scrub forests, the wall of the Marshyangdi valley looms larger and finally the houses of Dharapani become visible. Cross the Dudh Khola, climb up through Chhorten shaped arch and past a Mani wall to Thonje village. We turn left, pass the large high school and cross a long suspension bridge over the Marshyangdi and arrive in Dharapani. Here we join with main Annapurna round route. Trekking south on the main Annapurna round trail and following down the Marshyangdi River, crossing the bridge several times to reach the small village of Karte. We continue descend along the cliff rocky trail before crossing the Marshyangdi river, there is a beautiful waterfall at Taal, the last village of the lower Manang region. From Taal continue down along the Marshyangdi riverside, Taal Phedi and small tea houses of Sattale, continue descend through the lush green forest and wild Mariana to another suspension bridge and gentle ascend to Chyamche.
Day 17: Drive to Kathmandu (7-8 hrs)
We leave from Chyamche early in the morning, drive through several interesting small villages and Besishahar. It is new, dusty and rough road. From Besishahar the road is very good and wonderful scenery. We join with Pokhara Kathmandu highway in Dumre bazaar. We have lunch on the way to Kathmandu at nice restaurant. It is very scenic drive to Kathmandu. In the late afternoon we visit around Thamel for shopping and have farewell dinner at typical Nepali restaurant with cultural program.
Day 18: Departure from Nepal.
We will escort you to airport for your international flight.